When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / Features / The 20 best games of E3 2016

The 20 best games of E3 2016

As E3 2016 draws to a close, we wrap-up the best games of this year's awesome show

News of new consoles may have dominated the early headlines of E3 2016, but let’s be honest – it’s the games that really matter, and this year’s show was chock-a-block with them.

We’ve spent the last few days fighting through crowds of selfie stick-wielding nerds to see, touch and salivate over every game at the show, and we can now reveal which were the very best.

Below you’ll find our absolute favourites from E3 2016, complete with trailers and links to more in-depth coverage where possible. Enjoy!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Nintendo’s had a quiet E3 overall, but we have had our first proper look at the next Legend of Zelda instalment (due out on both the Wii U and new NX console next year). And our impression of Breath of the Wild is that it’s going to be something truly special – a cel-shaded open world adventure that changes up the Zelda formula without dispelling its spirit.

Formats: Wii U, NX

Release date: 2017

Pre-order The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild from Amazon

Detroit: Become Human

Do androids dream of electric sheep? Perhaps you’ll find the answer in Detroit: Become Human, which puts you in the mind and body of a number of androids in a near-future version of – you guessed it – Detroit.

This is a vision of the future that sees androids aving taken over millions of jobs previously done by humans – manufacturing, admin, child care – but what started out as a blissful period of coexistence appears to begin falling apart when some of these androids start behaving oddly. Some simply disappear, some commit suicide, and some even attack humans. Clearly, none of this is part of the programming.

This is the new game from David Cage, the chap behind Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, and much like those games, Detroit is all about interactive storytelling. There are so many more variables and options here, though, and having seen the same scene play out in three very different ways we can confirm there’s a really impressive degree of nuance at play, with your decisions having logical conclusions – even if they don’t always go quite as planned!

Fans of Cage’s previous games will love this. As will Blade Runner nerds.

Formats: PS4

Release date: TBC

Pre-order Detroit: Become Human from Amazon

Battlefield 1

Over the top of the trenches, that is. DICE has turned to World War 1, rather than follow the crowd with another sci-fi shooter – and we couldn’t be happier.

The gameplay is incredible, with fast-paced multiplayer matches filled with vehicles, wide open arenas and aerial dogfighting. There’s more than a little bit borrowed from Star Wars: Battlefront too, with a much cleaner UI than older BF games.

It’s the colossal airships and zeppelins that impress most, though. Bring one down and it’ll destroy any buildings it crashes into, leaving rubble and mangled metal for you to fight around for the rest of the match.

Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release date: 21 October 2016

Pre-order Battlefield 1 from Amazon

Forza Horizon 3

Relocating its tarmac-tearing action to Australia, Forza Horizon 3 looks absolutely jaw-dropping and promises once again to set the bar for console racing games.

This time, it’s putting as much emphasis on off-road action as the asphalt-based stuff, with dune buggies and trucks sitting alongside Lamborghinis and BMWs. It looks and plays fantastically already.

Formats: Xbox One

Release date: 27 September 2016

Pre-order Forza Horizon 3 from Amazon

Titanfall 2

How do you make giant fighting robots that little bit cooler? Give them a bloomin’ great lightning sword, for a start. Bolt on about six rocket launchers, and then we’ll talk.

Titanfall 2 is hitting up Xbox One, PC, and (for the first time) PS4 on 28 October, with a full singleplayer campaign as well as the familiar multiplayer mayhem. It looks pretty bombastic from the reveal trailer, switching the action between on- and off-world conflicts.

Expect new Titans, new weapons, and a whole host of larger, more hostile environments to cause mechanised carnage in online, too. Move over Call of Duty?

Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release date: 28 October 2016

Pre-order Titanfall 2 from Amazon

God of War

Kratos is back! And he has a beard! And a son… but mostly check out the beard! Presumably there’s going to be a side-quest in which he sidelines his day job slaying monsters by making latte art as a barista. Just imagine Kratos asking if you want whipped cream.

Back on track: This is, we’re told, a sequel to the previous games in the series, but it’s also quite the departure from them. For a start, we’re now in a land of Norse, rather than Greek, mythology, and the view has moved from a distant isometric camera to a more intense, traditional third-person one.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about the new God of War, but we do know it’s brutal and beautiful, and we can’t wait to play the full game.

Formats: PS4

Release date: TBC

Pre-order God of War from Amazon

Sea of Thieves

For our money, Sea of Thieves was the most exciting gameplay reveal at Microsoft’s event, with the trailer giving us our first real taste of the cartoony multiplayer pirate action we can expect from Rare’s upcoming title.

It looks, in one word, FUN – and isn’t that what we play games for? Hoist the mainbrace, ye lubbers, and consider our swashes well and truly buckled.

Formats: Xbox One

Release date: 2016

Pre-order Sea of Thieves from Amazon

Ghost Recon: Wildlands

The new info we’ve gleaned from E3 suggests Wildlands is going to be a typically gun-heavy Tom Clancy title that prioritises teamwork as you and a small group of elite special forces operatives take on a Bolivian drug cartel across a giant open-world.

Team up online with up to three other players and fly helicopters, ride motorbikes, drive jeeps and generally cause bombastic havok in one of the finest-looking games currently in development.

Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release date: 7 March 2017

Pre-order Ghost Recon: Wildlands from Amazon

Days Gone


Watch the above trailer and you’ll probably notice the many similarities Days Gone shares with another PlayStation exclusive, The Last of Us: a gruff protagonist struggling with loss, a destroyed America in the grip of some kind of zombie outbreak, a mournful acoustic guitar soundtrack, more than a bit of the old ultra-violence.

But there are key differences, one being that Days Gone is a true open world game rather than a tightly-controlled narrative experience. Another is that combat tends to be against dozens of infected rather than a small group. We’ve seen it up close and personal in a behind closed doors session, and it’s got bags of potential.

Formats: PS4

Release date: TBC

Pre-order Days Gone from Amazon

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

After the success of The Stick of Truth, we’ve got a new South Park RPG on the way.

Boasting the same true-to-the-show art style and a plot that centres around Cartman’s quest to make billions of dollars from a series of superhero movies, The Fractured But Whole looks set to continue the series’ theme of combining off-colour LOLs with a genuinely deep, challenging gaming experience. We can’t wait!

Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release date: 6 December 2016

Pre-order South Park: The Fractured But Whole from Amazon

Death Stranding

If Konami’s vicious canning of Silent Hills left you mourning the prospects of a Hideo Kojima/Norman Reedus off The Walking Dead collab, it’s time to punch the air, because at Sony’s event Kojima showed off the first teaser for his upcoming game – and it’s got Norman Reedus in it. Naked. On a beach. With a disappearing baby. Surrounded by dead fish and whales.

The game is called Death Stranding and we have no idea what it’s about. But we’re intrigued.

Formats: PS4

Release date: TBC

Pre-order Death Stranding from Amazon

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Hunting robot dinosaur monsters in a primitive, far-future Earth? That really does it for us, and Horizon: Zero Dawn has it in spades.

And now, with Guerilla Games’ new tranche of in-game action, we know that it has… wait for it… dialogue wheels too. Consider us wheel-y stoked. Ha!

Formats: PS4

Release date: 28 February 2017

Pre-order Horizon: Zero Dawn from Amazon


The big news with the new FIFA isn’t that the gameplay has been massively tweaked but rather that it has a whole new single-player mode.

The Journey sees you take control of a young hopeful, completing missions such as coming off the bench to score a goal and navigating tricky questions from the gentlemen and ladies of the press.

Of course the gameplay has also been refined, with big players now having much more strength and teammates showing more intelligence (so not lifelike at all then). Set-pieces have also been entirely overhauled.

You can check out our full hands-on with the new game below, and also read our 6 Things You Need to Know About FIFA 17 article here.

Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release date: 29 September 2016

Pre-order FIFA 17 from Amazon

READ MOREFIFA 17 hands-on review


Oh, Morgan – it looks as though you’re in a spot of bother. Groundhog Day + nasty aliens? Rather you than me, to be honest.

With seemingly very little in common with the 2006 game of the same name, the new Prey appears to be a reimagining rather than a sequel, and it looks to be all the better for it, with the disorienting ceiling-running and American Indian influences replaced with full-on sci-fi and aliens that bring to mind nano tech swarms and Venom’s symbiote suit. The action in the trailer also immediately brings to mind Dead Space, and that’s a very good thing.

It’s wasn’t playable at E3 unfortunately, but we’re still mighty excited for Prey.

Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release date: TBC

Pre-order Prey from Amazon

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Infinitive Warfare got off to a rather… shaky start in the opinion stakes, but after strutting its stuff at E3, the hype is definitely back on, and it’s all thanks to space. Well, more specifically, the amazing spaceship dogfight gameplay that was revealed at the show.

With grappling hooks, hand-to-hand space combat and the regular polished run-and-gun firefights all on offer, shooter fans have plenty here to be excited about.

Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release date: 4 November 2016

Pre-order Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare from Amazon

The Last Guardian

It was originally supposed to come out on the PS3 in 2011, and there’ve been times we feared the whole thing would never make it out of development hell – but finally, The Last Guardian has a release date: 25 October 2016, on the PS4.

Yes, you’ll be playing the spiritual sequel to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus before the year is out, and it’s a really rather special game featuring one boy and his giant, adorable cat-dog-eagle, Trico.

Formats: PS4

Release date: 25 October 2016

Pre-order The Last Guardian from Amazon

Resident Evil VII

The Resident Evil series turned 20 this year, and it’s been on a few ups and downs quality-wise over the decades – but its next incarnation may just be the scariest yet. Because, folks, it’s gone VR.

Yep, Sony showed off Resident Evil VII: Biohazard as a PlayStation VR title (it’s coming to PC and Xbox One too, though), meaning, for the first time, you’ll be taking on the viral-infected hordes as if you were actually there. We pity your underpants, survival horror fans.

Formats: PS4 (with VR support), Xbox One, PC

Release date: 24 January 2017

You might also likethe 10 best games for PlayStation VR

Dishonored 2


We’ve known about Dishonored 2 for a year now, and the trailer leaked early, and yet the moment it appeared on screens during the Bethesda press conference the crowd still went wild.

In fairness, the vast screen conveyed the beauty and scale of the game far better than a YouTube stream can. The slightly cartoonish aesthetic of the last game remains, but vastly more detail makes the world feel more alive and real, and the lighting effects can create scenes of real beauty.

You can play as Corvo from the first game or don the mask of a now grown-up Emily Baldwin, who has a unique set of abilities that open up different ways to play. Whichever character you choose, though, there’s going to be lots of violence – the trailer above is packed with brutal takedowns.

Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release date: 11 November 2016

Pre-order Dishonored from Amazon


Ubisoft’s surprise reveal this year was Steep. No guns, no explosions, no assassin’s stalking their targets. Instead, we’ve got a lovely-looking snowboarding/skiing/wingsuit/paragliding game that plops you slap bang in the middle of the french Alps.

The scenery looks stunning and the flexibility to instantly swap between all four play styles is great. As long as it’s not too sim-like and manages to inject its own personality, it could be a great change of pace from the usual frantic action.

Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release date: December 2016

Pre-order Steep from Amazon

Read morehands-on with Steep

We Happy Few

This indie psychological thriller’s cartoony style is disarming, to say the least. It’s set in an alternative British dystopian timeline where everyone pops Joy pills in an attempt to filter out the bleak, harsh world they’re living in.

Having missed your dose, reality starts seeping in, and you’re soon on the run, trying to escape the clutches of the evil smiling authorities while taking just enough Joy to remain undetected as you plot your escape.

Formats: Xbox One, PC

Release date: 26 July 2016

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming